It’s sad to say, but colder weather is on its way. Hopefully your cottage is ready to go until spring, but you should do winter checks whenever possible. It would not be fun to arrive at the cottage in spring to find damage of any kind.
The snow loads up north are much more than in the city so if the drifts on your roof at home are large, you can be sure that they are larger at the cottage.
If you head up this winter, make sure to bring the keys, a snow shovel, a roof rake, some basic hand tools and spare batteries for smoke detectors and flashlights.
When you arrive, do a perimeter walk – look for heavy snow, broken windows, etc; clear the area around your furnace vents and your propane tanks. Make sure that there is fuel for when you are there next. Remove any branches, and check for leaning or broken trees. Keep an eye out for critter tracks too.
Once inside, check the plumbing for any noticeable water marks or broken drains. Change the furnace filter and the batteries in the smoke detectors. I have heard that it is a good idea to run your furnace and appliances while you are there – this will help keep parts from seizing up.
If everything inside is good, head outside and start to clear the snow from the roof and walkways. Clear as much snow away from the cottage as you can. This will help to avoid any rot to the building in the spring melt.
If you are unable to make it up to the cottage during the winter, consider hiring a company to monitor and maintain your investment. It is not an expensive service for the work provided, and it will give you piece of mind. It is also becoming popular to install cameras which you can access from your smartphone.
For those of you who have snowmobiles, now would be a good time to go for a ride.
Enjoy yourself while you are there. Go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature, the same beauty that inspired you to buy your piece of paradise.
Dave Linkert, Port 32 Marshall Homes, Bobcaygeon
Photo by Katie Ellement